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Old 10-07-2005, 03:57 PM   #1
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english catholics to american evangelicals: Bible not literally true

Quote:
Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...811332,00.html
the article is very interesting, and they get very specific:



Quote:
BELIEVE IT OR NOT

UNTRUE

Genesis ii, 21-22

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man

Genesis iii, 16

God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”


Matthew xxvii, 25

The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”


Revelation xix,20

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”


TRUE

Exodus iii, 14

God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”


Leviticus xxvi,12

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”


Exodus xx,1-17

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28

Proof of bodily resurrection


all seems to affirm the obvious to me: demanding that schools acknoweldge, teach, or even give credence to the idea that the world was created in 6 days a few thousand years ago is not an expression of "religious belief;" it's an expression of superstition and willful belief in that which is demonstrably and empirically untrue.
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Old 10-07-2005, 04:38 PM   #2
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This isn't new news. The Catholic Church has had documents preaching against Biblical fundamentalism since at least 1987.

What amuses me more is the fact that so few Catholics seem to be knowledgable about their own faith, except for when it comes to hot button finger pointing and who to be bigoted towards.

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Old 10-07-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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We've been through all this before. It is far easier to follow God your own way when you get to rip out the pages you don't like.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It is far easier to follow God your own way when you get to rip out the pages you don't like.
And then post them for public inspection...hmmm, you're right, that IS just like Martin Luther.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We've been through all this before. It is far easier to follow God your own way when you get to rip out the pages you don't like.
Or bend the words to your own bigotries...
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:36 PM   #6
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the bible is 100% accurate and literal. accpet this and move on. don't even think about it. god really did make the sun stand still at joshua's request...despite the fact that the sun doesn't move.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
What amuses me more is the fact that so few Catholics seem to be knowledgable about their own faith
I would have to agree with this. I went to a Catholic school in Mississippi for a few years where courses in Catholic intellectual history and doctrine were required, which apparently is atypical--and I gather Catholic "Sunday schools" tend to emphasize "wishy-washy Christian Life stuff" (as one Catholic friend put it) rather than filling in these gaps. Why is that? Vatican II, or a kind of laziness, or "Protestantization," or what? Anyway, I often find myself in the bizarre situation of having to clarify the intellectual context of some doctrinal point or another for Catholics I know.

Honestly though...if it weren't for the attempts to force creationism into our public schools, I would have no problems with it. Some ultra-Orthodox American Jews teach the Bible this way also, but in the context of their own yeshivot--which is where it belongs. It doesn't keep them from coexisting peacefully with, and believing in the virtues of, a society where church and state are separate.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We've been through all this before. It is far easier to follow God your own way when you get to rip out the pages you don't like.


and to surrender your own intellect, experience, and conscience as well as centuries of scientific thought and exploration in addition to different viewpoints all to translated words on a page.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:02 PM   #9
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“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”



WORD.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and to surrender your own intellect, experience, and conscience as well as centuries of scientific thought and exploration in addition to different viewpoints all to translated words on a page.
As I see it, if people want to surrender to preposterous, mythical lies to believe in God, then so be it. They'll just have to spend their whole lives wrong.

And this article here kind of accents why I get angry at the Catholic Church. They'll have such moments of rational clarity, but then ruin it with irrational bigotry and their own batch of preposterous, mythical lies that have nothing to do with God.

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Old 10-07-2005, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
This isn't new news. The Catholic Church has had documents preaching against Biblical fundamentalism since at least 1987.

What amuses me more is the fact that so few Catholics seem to be knowledgable about their own faith, except for when it comes to hot button finger pointing and who to be bigoted towards.

Melon
Hey, I am a Catholic. I hope you count me in the "so few" there.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We've been through all this before. It is far easier to follow God your own way when you get to rip out the pages you don't like.
The Catholic Church ripped out pages it didn´t like in the Middle Age. Don´t forget that.

Also, don´t forget the Bible is contradictional. Jesus wasn´t exactly a fan of the Old Testament, was he?
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
The Catholic Church ripped out pages it didn´t like in the Middle Age. Don´t forget that.

Also, don´t forget the Bible is contradictional. Jesus wasn´t exactly a fan of the Old Testament, was he?
Well, to add to this sentiment, let's not forget all the "page ripping" of Protestant Bibles too. Martin Luther took out all that "apocrypha" that all eventually ended up found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Admittedly, if I am to read a Bible, my preferred texts are Catholic. Their generally scholarly sound footnotes are another good moment of clarity for the Church.

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Old 10-07-2005, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Also, don´t forget the Bible is contradictional. Jesus wasn´t exactly a fan of the Old Testament, was he?
That is an excellent point. I have no problem when God defines something for us. It is when people decide to take God's place that gives me heartburn.

An honest question: how do you deal with a passage of Scripture that you don't like?
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
That is an excellent point. I have no problem when God defines something for us. It is when people decide to take God's place that gives me heartburn.

An honest question: how do you deal with a passage of Scripture that you don't like?
How did people approach the passage where St. Paul instructs that women are not supposed to teach over men? They ignored it when they realized that it wasn't true. And the determination that it was "false" was based solely on life experience and maybe a good dose of "divine revelation" from the Holy Spirit. Most "good Christian men," after all, are either taught by women in institutional schools or by their mothers if homeschooled.

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Old 10-07-2005, 07:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


That is an excellent point. I have no problem when God defines something for us. It is when people decide to take God's place that gives me heartburn.

An honest question: how do you deal with a passage of Scripture that you don't like?
Thanks.

How do I deal with a passage I don´t like? Well, an honest answer: I simply don´t believe in it. I do choose every single day what my religion stands for. You know, there are some principles that are like carved into stone; the ten commandments may be a good example, since this is an description of what God said, and apparently, it is such an important one, that He did not want it to be "translated" wrong. So there you go, Moses on the mountain, fire in the bush, and the commandments really carved into stone.

Now, take another story... the one when the father beats up his son, "educating" him. I think that´s wrong, and God would not appreaciate it, since He has given free will to the son, etc. Or take a passage where there are "slaves". Apparently, there was already some slavery at this time (like we also know of the Romans). One passage (don´t ask me now exactly which, I would have to go look for it) speaks about that and defines how the master treats his slaves. You seriously think that´s God´s word? That would be strange, given our so free and democratic and anti-slavery society. Still, it is written in the Bible.

So I differ. I make up my mind. I agree with many parts of the Bible, and I agree there is some Godliness in it, but also some "manliness".

I was asking that question to myself very strictly when I was 15 years old, you know. I was raised as a Catholic, but how could I love a God who lets his enemies drown? (when Moses flees from the Egyptians, you surely remember that) Instead of helping them, he lets them drown? Is this brotherly love that Jesus talks about? For me, there was a clear contradiction.

Now, what does a brave Catholic do when he´s in a conflict of beliefs? He goes to the Priest to ask So thats what I did, went into our famous big St StephensCathedral, they handed me over to some Youth Cardinal, and he was the one to explain me that this book was written thousands of years ago, and "people then wrote it in their words, today we interprete many things different". I guess with that diplomatic approach he wanted to make clear that the Bible isn´t infallible.

What makes up your belief?

Is it a book?

A book is nothing .

Believing comes from your inside. It is a thing of burning souls. People have died for their beliefs, and not only Jesus who hang on the Cross, it is many, many more. You think a book was enough to make them believe so much?

People have their God, their religion, right in their hearts and in their souls. And who can tell you what you believe in your heart and in your soul.

I have a personal relation to "my" God. He is a loving God, a forgiving God, see.

I hope I make myself clear in some way... I think thats the best reply I can give you.
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Old 10-07-2005, 07:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
I was raised as a Catholic, but how could I love a God who lets his enemies drown? (when Moses flees from the Egyptians, you surely remember that) Instead of helping them, he lets them drown? Is this brotherly love that Jesus talks about? For me, there was a clear contradiction.
It is a good contradiction that has a good explanation.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/y/yahweh.html

The most fascinating subtext of the Bible is that it is a chronicle of Judaism's transition from an exclusive, tribal polytheism to a (theoretically) inclusive monotheism of Christianity.

Melon
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:16 PM   #18
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Cool article.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


How did people approach the passage where St. Paul instructs that women are not supposed to teach over men? They ignored it when they realized that it wasn't true. And the determination that it was "false" was based solely on life experience and maybe a good dose of "divine revelation" from the Holy Spirit. Most "good Christian men," after all, are either taught by women in institutional schools or by their mothers if homeschooled.

Melon


melon you brought up one of my favorite passages to point out to bible thumping conservatives...no evangelical i knows takes that passage to heart. someone explain that to me.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:44 PM   #20
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When placed within its correct genres, the Bible makes a whole lot more sense. Trying to pull individual pieces of text as "true" or "untrue" will always be a problem.
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